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This article covers the Canon version of this subject.  Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Legends version of this subject. 
This article is about the Sith title "Darth".
You may be looking for other similar Sith titles such as "Dark Lord of the Sith" and "Sith Lord".
For other uses, see Darth (disambiguation).
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"Emperor Palpatine. His name, his Sith name, is Darth Sidious. The name of his apprentice is Darth Vader. They are the two most powerful people in the galaxy."
―Qi'ra[4]

Darth was a title that preceded the moniker of a Sith Lord. Predating the history of the Rule of Two, it was used by ancient Sith such as Darth Atrius, Darth Caldoth, and Darth Noctyss. The Darth title was preserved through Darth Bane's reforms, spawning a thousand-year lineage that included Darth Zannah, Darth Tenebrous, and Darth Plagueis. Darth Sidious was the culmination of generations of Sith leading to the rise of the Galactic Empire. As a Sith Master, Sidious bestowed the title of Darth on his three successive Sith apprentices: Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, and Darth Vader.

Overview[]

"This is the way of the Sith. I named you 'Vader' after you pledged yourself to the Sith. You proved yourself worthy of it then. I am certain you will prove yourself worthy now."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[5]
SithTeachings-Convergence

The name of a Sith Lord consisted of the Darth title and a personal moniker.

Darth was a Sith title given as both a[6] name[7] and title[6] to the Sith Lords, an order of Force-sensitives who channeled their power through the dark side of the Force.[8] The title, which roughly translated to "Dark Lord,"[9] was part of a Sith Lord's mantle,[10] preceding a moniker that replaced the Sith Lord's original name.[11] The Darth title and accompanying moniker symbolized one's identity as a Sith.[6] The Sith names of Sheev Palpatine, Dooku, and Anakin Skywalker were Darth Sidious, Darth Tyranus, and Darth Vader, respectively.[11] In at least two cases, the title and the accompanying moniker were bestowed on the Sith apprentice by the Sith Master.[12] Under the Rule of Two, the Master and apprentice both bore the Darth title at the same time.[11]

History[]

Ancient past[]

"Do you know who I am?"
"Yes. Darth Bane, the ancient Sith Lord you are."
―Darth Bane's specter and Yoda[13]
Momin and Shaa

Darth Shaa and Darth Momin were among the Sith who predated the Galactic Empire.

The Sith were a sect of Force adepts who splintered off from the Jedi Order.[14] There were many Sith who affixed the title "Darth" to their name, including legends such as Darth Caldoth,[15] Darth Noctyss, Darth Sanguis[16], and Darth Wrend.[17] Darth Atrius bore the title when the Sith were considered plentiful and powerful.[18] Other title bearers included Darth Momin, Darth Ravi, Darth Shaa, and Darth Tanis.[19]

Darth Krall was a powerful Sith Lord who was also once a Jedi, known as Jedi Master Radaki, until he turned to the dark side of the Force. The Jedi Code conflicted with Radaki's belief that the Jedi should retain their family ties and wealth, and he eventually became one of the Lost Twenty.[20] Darth Quellus was said to have used the dark side to make candles burn black during the Sith Empire's occupation of Aaloth.[21]

The Sith were in danger of extinction due to a combination of infighting[13] and their conflict with the Jedi.[22] Darth Bane, the sole survivor of the ancient Sith, developed the Rule of Two—limiting their ranks to a master and an apprentice—by training[13] Darth Zannah[23] as his only disciple.[13]

Modern era[]

Darth Sidious[]

"As Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, I would stand for a united Republic. As Sith Lord Darth Sidious, I would conspire to rip that Republic asunder."
―Darth Sidious[8]
Rise-of-Palpatine

Darth Sidious rose to power in the Galactic Republic as Sheev Palpatine from Naboo.

Bane's reformation was a resilient legacy[13] that lasted for a millennium, creating a lineage of Sith Lords that culminated with Darth Sidious who came to power as Sheev Palpatine during the late era of the Galactic Republic.[8] In time, the Sith tradition led to Darth Tenebrous, who trained the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis.[24] Carrying on the Rule of Two, Plagueis trained Darth Sidious; after learning the secrets of Plagueis,[25] Sidious killed his master and trained his own apprentice, the Dathomirian warrior Darth Maul.[26]

The Jedi High Council became aware of the Sith Order's return during the Invasion of Naboo, as a result of Qui-Gon Jinn's first encounter with Maul on Tatooine. The High Council was skeptical about Jinn's findings, the Jedi having not encountered a living Sith Lord in over a thousand years. Jinn death in a lightsaber duel with Maul, during the Battle of Naboo, removed any doubt that the High Council had about the "mysterious warrior's" identity as a Sith. The High Council also suspected the existence of a second Sith Lord due to their awareness of the Rule of Two. However, they could not be certain whether the Sith who killed Jinn had been the master or the apprentice.[27]

The name Darth Sidious was first revealed to the Jedi by a former member of their Order, Count Dooku, who informed Obi-Wan Kenobi about Sidious' influence over the Galactic Senate. Neither Kenobi nor Grand Master Yoda believed Dooku, however, as in their view the Count's credibility was undercut by his conversion to the dark side and betrayal of the Jedi Order. Nevertheless, Mace Windu advised the High Council to exercise greater caution in their future dealings with the Senate.[28]

EmperorAmused-Orientation

Darth Sidious discarded the persona of Sheev Palpatine after becoming Emperor of the Galactic Empire.

Sidious successfully maintained a double life throughout his rise to power, the two aspects of his persona—Darth Sidious and Sheev Palpatine—working in tandem toward the realization of the Grand Plan[8] and the unlimited power that he coveted. He was declared the Galactic Emperor by the end of the Clone Wars, which also witnessed the extermination of the Jedi throughout the galaxy under Order 66.[11] As Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sidious saw no use in preserving his alter ego as Palpatine. Although the name "Palpatine" was included in his public title as Emperor, in his own mind he was only "Darth Sidious" for the remainder of his life.[29]

Lady Qi'ra, the leader of Crimson Dawn, learned about the Sith through her connection to Maul, including the history of Darth Sidious. Opposed to the New Order, Qi'ra conspired to bring an end to the Sith's reign over the galaxy with the help of the Knights of Ren and other allied groups. During the Galactic Civil War between the Empire and the Alliance to Restore the Republic, Qi'ra revealed Palpatine's Sith name to her allies while denouncing his overall reign as Emperor.[4]

Darth Maul[]

"So, the rumors are true, Darth Maul lives."
"Formerly Darth, now just Maul."
―Seventh Sister and Maul[30]
Darth Maul 1 Albuquerque

Darth Maul was trained from a young age as the Sith apprentice of Darth Sidious.

The Zabrak son of Mother Talzin, the child who would one day become Darth Maul was taken by Sidious at a young age, and was trained in the ways of the Sith. At some point, he was given the Sith moniker “Darth Maul” by his master, and forgot his original birth name. As a Sith apprentice, Darth Maul was trained in secrecy until Sidious decided to reveal their Order's survival to the Jedi. Maul longed to avenge his predecessors' defeat in the Jedi-Sith War of centuries past, but was defeated and nearly killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi.[8] At the time, his name was unknown to the Jedi who referred to him simply as the "mysterious warrior."[27] However, by the time of the Clone Wars, the Order had discovered his name. Kenobi initially mistook Savage Opress for Maul, who was his brother, because of their resemblance.[31]

Maul endeavored to lead his own secret empire, the Shadow Collective, after recovering from his injuries.[8] He still considered himself as a Sith Lord,[32] despite no longer being Sidious' apprentice,[33] and assumed the role of master for his brother Opress.[32] During the Battle of Mandalore, Sidious killed Opress and defeated Maul, citing that only two Sith Lords could exist at any given time.[34]

Maul survived the Clone Wars and longed for revenge against the Jedi and Sith alike.[8] While he still maintained his connection to the dark side of the Force, Maul no longer considered himself as a Sith. Nonetheless, the Seventh Sister acknowledged him as "Darth Maul," to which the former Sith revealed that he had discarded the title of Darth by the time of the Inquisitors' arrival on Malachor.[30]

Darth Tyranus[]

"Vowing to help me eradicate the corruption from the institutions he had once served, Dooku was reborn as Darth Tyranus."
―Darth Sidious[8]
Dooku-TLC

Darth Tyranus was publicly known as Count Dooku, leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

After the events of the Invasion of Naboo, former Jedi Master Count Dooku replaced Maul as Sidious' Sith apprentice and was consequently renamed Darth Tyranus.[8] Dooku had already used the name Tyranus in his dealings with the Kaminoan government[35] and the Pyke Syndicate. As his Sith name, he would come to use it in conversations with his Sith Master.[36] However, he retained the use of his original name in his public identity as the Count of Serenno and Head of State of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Tyranus and Sidious kept their Sith identities secret by using their public names, respectively Dooku and Sheev Palpatine, throughout the Separatist Crisis[28] and the Clone Wars.[11]

The Jedi Order gradually learned of the plot to an end the era of their guardianship over the galaxy, beginning when Kenobi learned that an individual named "Tyranus" recruited the bounty hunter Jango Fett to serve as the clone template for Sifo-Dyas' army of clone troopers. The Jedi discovered that the mysterious Tyranus was in fact Dooku when the Pykes on Oba Diah addressed the Count by his Sith moniker in the presence of Kenobi and Skywalker. Their subsequent report to the Jedi High Council confirmed that the Sith were indeed responsible for the creation of the Grand Army of the Republic. By then, however, the Jedi had come to trust the clones who served under their command. The High Council was also aware of the impact the information would have on the Republic's morale; therefore, Grand Master Yoda instructed his colleagues not to reveal Dooku's role in the clone army's origins to anyone, including Chancellor Palpatine.[36]

Darth Vader[]

A new name[]
"Henceforth, you shall be known as Darth… Vader."
―Darth Sidious, to the former Anakin Skywalker[11]
VaderAnakin-DV5cover

The Chosen One Anakin Skywalker was rechristened Darth Vader after he pledged his loyalty to Darth Sidious.

Although Sidious perceived his lineage as the strongest in the Force, the raw power of the Skywalker bloodline was undeniable to him, and as such planned to eventually replace Tyranus with Anakin Skywalker.[8] Hailed as the Chosen One destined to bring balance to the Force, Skywalker was taken into the ranks of the Jedi Order and trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi.[27] Through his elevated position as "Chancellor Palpatine," leader of the Senate, Sidious cultivated a friendship with the young Skywalker[37] in order to ensure their future partnership as Master and apprentice.[8]

Under the influence of Sidious, Skywalker was gradually seduced by the dark side of the Force.[8] During the Battle of Coruscant, he executed Tyranus on the orders of Chancellor Palpatine, who subsequently revealed his secret identity as a Sith Lord to the Jedi. Skywalker ultimately turned to the dark side after thwarting the High Council's efforts to depose Sidious.[11] By pledging his loyalty to the Sith, Skywalker was deemed worthy of the name Darth Vader by Sidious,[5] who took the former Jedi Knight as his new Sith apprentice. The newly christened Vader led the 501st Legion's attack on the Jedi Temple where he personally killed multiple Jedi, including Jedi younglings who recognized him as Skywalker.[11]

Vader's actions in the Temple were discovered by Kenobi and Yoda upon their return to Coruscant. Kenobi's reluctance to confront his former Padawan was replaced with resolve after Yoda counseled him to separate Skywalker from the persona of Vader. According to Yoda, Skywalker had effectively ceased to exist when he turned to the dark side. Vader was defeated and left to die on Mustafar by Kenobi, but survived through the intervention of Sidious who rebuilt his apprentice into an armored cyborg.[11]

BattlesthatChangedGalaxy-Vader-boarding

Abandoning his past, Darth Vader waged a war of rage against all who had wronged him and those who stood in the Empire's way.

After years of hunting his former master, Vader confronted Kenobi on a barren moon[38] in 9 BBY.[39] During the duel, Vader's mask was damaged by Kenobi's lightsaber. Kenobi apologized to his one-time friend upon seeing the face of Anakin Skywalker, but as Darth Vader, the Dark Lord declared that he was responsible for the destruction of his former persona. Convinced that Skywalker was truly lost to the dark side, Kenobi bid Vader farewell, referring to him as "Darth" instead of "Anakin."[38]

During their final duel[7] in 0 BBY,[40] Kenobi found himself unable to say his old friend's real name[41] and instead called him "Darth."[7] In the aftermath of the Battle of Yavin, Sidious warned his apprentice to not underestimate how much he disappointed his master by losing to Kenobi on Mustafar. Sidious had given the title of "Darth Vader" to Anakin Skywalker because at the time he believed that the fallen Jedi was worthy of bearing a Sith name. Having grown more doubtful of his apprentice, Sidious required Vader to prove that he was still worthy of his title by overcoming the obstacles in his path to Sith ascendancy.[5]

A certain point of view[]
"Your father was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true… from a certain point of view."
―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Luke Skywalker[42]
VadersRevelation-TESB

Luke Skywalker learned that Darth Vader was who Anakin Skywalker became when he turned to the dark side of the Force.

The former identity of Darth Vader was kept secret from his son, Luke Skywalker, by Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.[42] Although Skywalker eventually learned that his father had served alongside Kenobi as a Jedi Knight in the Clone Wars,[7] Kenobi sought to shield Skywalker from the full truth of Anakin's fate.[43] He told Skywalker that his father was killed in the systematic purge of the Jedi Order by a fallen Jedi, Darth Vader. Skywalker endeavored to learn the ways of the Force as a Jedi, as his father did,[7] all the while believing Anakin to be dead until he confronted his father's "killer," Vader, in Cloud City on Bespin where the Sith Lord revealed that he was the young Jedi's father.[44]

As a Force spirit, Kenobi explained that his motive for hiding the truth was to protect Luke Skywalker.[43] According to Kenobi, he had told the truth—from his point of view—about Vader's role in the "death" of Anakin Skywalker.[42] Yoda had also referred to Vader and Anakin as different personas shortly after discovering his turn to the dark side.[11] Vader and his Master, Sidious, alluded to the idea that Anakin was a separate person from Vader as well.[44]

After Yoda and Kenobi confirmed Vader's identity, Luke Skywalker became convinced that he could turn his father back to the light side of the Force. Initially, Vader rejected his son's entreaties to renounce the dark side, and denied having any remaining connection to the name of Anakin Skywalker.[42] However, during the Battle of Endor Skywalker's compassion[43] towards Vader caused him to protect his son from the Emperor in an act of self-sacrifice,[42] resulting in his death as Anakin Skywalker rather than Darth Vader.[43]

Return of Sidious[]

"But darkness is eternal. Unlike the light, it cannot be extinguished. It will always find a way to rise again. And I, Darth Sidious, have risen with it."
―Darth Sidious[8]
Palpatine-TROS

The Sith legacy endured through Darth Sidious, whose resurrection was made possible through the art of cloning and the power of the dark side.

The prophesied destruction of the Sith[11] came to pass when Darth Sidious and Darth Vader destroyed each other, ending the thousand-year lineage that began with Darth Bane.[45] Unbeknownst to the galaxy, however, Sidious was resurrected after his first demise at Endor. Utilizing the knowledge that he acquired from his late Master, Darth Plagueis, Sidious succeeded in moving his consciousness to a clone of his original body, through a dark-side technique known as Transference.[8] In his new host form, Sidious endeavored to achieve the restoration of Sith rule across the galaxy.[46]

After Luke Skywalker's death, Sidious revealed his survival to the public through a galaxy-wide broadcast, leading to the search for Exegol by Supreme Leader Kylo Ren and the Jedi apprentice Rey—the respective descendants of Darth Vader and Darth Sidious. Although the First Order and the Resistance referred to the Emperor by his family name, Palpatine,[46] this time Sidious made no effort to conceal his Sith identity,[19] declaring that the Sith Eternal's fleet, the Final Order, would usher in the rise of a new Sith Empire.[46]

Legacy[]

"At the height of their powers, they allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire, and wipe them out. It was a Jedi Master who was responsible for the training and creation of Darth Vader."
―Luke Skywalker, to Rey[47]

The Darth Malted Milkshake was a drink sold in the galaxy.[48] Darth Krist-Ov was a character in a tragic play performed during the Clone Wars.[49] Darth Vader's name was remembered and hated for years after his death. During the First Order-Resistance War, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker mentioned his father and Sidious by their Sith names while recounting their history to the scavenger Rey.[47]

Behind the scenes[]

The title "Darth" first appeared in George Lucas' 1977 film, Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, as part of the name Darth Vader. According to Star Wars: Behind the Magic, Lucas intended the name "Darth Vader" to suggest "dark father."[50]

Appearances[]

Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. "Sacrifice" establishes that the modern Sith and the Rule of Two were created by Darth Bane, the last surviving Sith Lord following the order's presumed destruction. As The Star Wars Book dates the near-annihilation of the Sith to 1,032 years prior to the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states begins in 0 BBY, Bane must have been alive in 1032 BBY and the "Darth" title must have originated then.
  2. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi to 4 ABY and Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens to 34 ABY. Because Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary places Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker one year later, it must take place in 35 ABY.
  3. StarWars-DatabankII Sith in the Databank (backup link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Crimson Reign 1
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Darth Vader (2015) 6
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 StarWars Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith Story Gallery on StarWars.com (backup link) (Image 31 of 53)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 Star Wars: The Secrets of the Sith
  9. Star Wars Made Easy
  10. StarWars-DatabankII Anakin Skywalker Biography Gallery in the Databank (backup link) (Image 18 of 22)
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  12. StarWars-DatabankII Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious in the Databank (backup link)
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Sacrifice"
  14. StarWars Sith in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  15. "Gaze of Stone" — Myths & Fables
  16. "A Life Immortal" — Dark Legends
  17. Master & Apprentice
  18. Star Wars Annual (2015) 4
  19. 19.0 19.1 The Star Wars Book
  20. Dooku: Jedi Lost
  21. "The Kindling" — Life Day Treasury
  22. StarWars Darth Bane in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  23. Helmet Collection logo small Star Wars Helmet Collection 2 (Databank A-Z: Alzoc III—Antilles)
  24. Build the Millennium Falcon Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 44 (Starship Fact File: Sith Infiltrator: Scimitar)
  25. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
  26. StarWars-DatabankII Darth Sidious Biography Gallery in the Databank (backup link) (Image 1 of 30)
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  28. 28.0 28.1 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  29. StarWars-DatabankII Palpatine Biography Gallery in the Databank (backup link) (Image 29 of 29)
  30. 30.0 30.1 Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels — "Twilight of the Apprentice"
  31. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Witches of the Mist"
  32. 32.0 32.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Revival"
  33. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Revenge"
  34. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "The Lawless"
  35. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "Orders"
  36. 36.0 36.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars — "The Lost One"
  37. Obi-Wan and Anakin 1
  38. 38.0 38.1 Obi-Wan Kenobi new series logo Obi-Wan Kenobi — "Part VI"
  39. Star Wars: Timelines dates the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi to 9 BBY. Therefore, the events of "Part VI," including the fight on the barren moon, must be set in 9 BBY.
  40. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  41. "Time of Death" — From a Certain Point of View
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 42.4 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 StarWars-DatabankII Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Databank (backup link)
  44. 44.0 44.1 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  45. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  47. 47.0 47.1 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
  48. Star Wars Workbook: 3rd Grade Math
  49. IDWStarWarsAdventuresLogoSmaller "Intermission, Part I" — Star Wars Adventures (2017) 12
  50. Star Wars: Behind the Magic
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